Neurology conference: ‘10% of Pakistanis suffer from neurological disorders’

Medical experts say government attention needed for treatment of such diseases.

Our Correspondent March 31, 2014
Medical experts say government attention needed for treatment of such diseases. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: More than 70 per cent of medical colleges lack neurologists, while 95 per cent of district headquarter hospitals do not have a single neurologist on their board. These figures were presented at the 21st Neurology Conference at the Movenpick Hotel on Sunday.

Speaking at the third day of the conference, medical experts claimed that the ratio of patients, suffering from neurological diseases, was increasing rapidly in Pakistan.

“We do not have any verifiable data but about 10 per cent of the population is believed to be affected by neurological diseases,” said Dr Mohammad Wasay, the newly elected president of the Pakistan Society of Neurology (PSN).  He said that the ratio was increasing because of the lack of appropriate measures taken by the government. “About 400 patients die of stroke every day. People need to be aware of the diseases and their underlying symptoms.”

He said that one of the major reasons of stroke was economic issues. Dr Wasay revealed that only 170 neurologists were available in Pakistan for more than 180 million people, adding that around 20 doctors apply for post-graduation studies every year, but half of them leave the country after completing their degrees.

Epitologist Dr Fowzia said that patients of epilepsy were being diagnosed through video-monitoring. She revealed that 264 such patients were monitored in the last two years, one-fourth of whom were being considered as psycho patients. “All of those patients had epilepsy,” she added. She suggested that all such patients should immediately consult neurologists.

The speakers urged the government to pay immediate attention to neurological diseases, saying most of diseases were treatable. The conference was organised by the PSN and the Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation. More than 50 papers were presented in the nine sessions at the event.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2014. 


Major Iqbal | 8 years ago | Reply

I'd be interested to know what percentage of Pakistanis suffer from psychiatric disorders.

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